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October 20, 2015

Loving Your Pet Sometimes Means Being a Jerk

Loving your pet means lots of great things. It means walks and romps and treats and snuggles and trips to the beach. “Woohoo, love your pet!” But loving your pet also means some not great things. It means baths and nail clipping and teeth cleaning.
Loving your pet means lots of great things. It means walks and romps and treats and snuggles and trips to the beach.Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, cute, adventure

“Woohoo, love your pet!”

But loving your pet also means some not great things. It means baths and nail clipping and teeth cleaning.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, cute, adventure

“Whoa, whoa, let’s slow down on this whole ‘love” thing.”

Simply put, loving your pet means sometimes you have to be a jerk. I can think of no better example of this than trips to the vet. A great vet is an invaluable asset, but unfortunately the vet is where some of a pet’s most traumatic experiences occur.

Especially after her spay, Penny is firmly anti-vet. Nevertheless, when I suspected she had a UTI I played the “bad guy” and brought her in. Penny didn’t make me feel horrible about it or anything…

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, cute, adventure

“How could you do this to me again?”

Trips to the vet are an exercise in delayed gratification. No fun while it’s happening, but extremely gratifying after the fact.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, cute, adventure

Speaking of which, we practiced some delayed-gratification in the waiting room to distract Penny

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, cute, adventure

I’m hopeful a relentless torrent of treats will help Penny find a more positive association with the vet and the great staff working there

The results of my efforts so far? 

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, cute, adventure

“You’re a jerk. And everyone who works here is a jerk.”

The worst was when I had to give Penny up for a couple minutes for a quick blood draw. I swear she left claw marks in the tile as she tried to drag herself back to me.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, cute, adventure

They should really add a bullet point for “big babies”

When Penny came dashing back into the room you would have thought she won the treat jackpot at a slot machine.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, cute, adventure

The treats were spilling out of my hands faster than she could devour them

The good news is a simple ten day course of antibiotics should have Penny feeling right as rain. The better news is when I take Penny with me when I leave the vet she immediately regards me as her as her savior and hero.

Yes, I sometimes have to be a jerk, but I sleep easy knowing it’s for the best.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, cute, adventure

And they sleep easy because…well, they always sleep easy

Unfortunately, I can’t explain to the dogs why I have to be a jerk some days. But luckily, as dogs always do, Eko and Penny are always willing to forgive my momentary rudeness. In exchange for a few extra treats, of course.

Comments for Loving Your Pet Sometimes Means Being a Jerk

  1. that’s the hardest part to leave them alone with the vet-man. Easy’s dad is a her oand he even held his paw during the cauterisation, with his best parts on the surgical table :o)

  2. Neeka won’t even get out of the car when I take her to the vet. I’ve tried parking in different places (like around back or to the side), but she knows. Dang RR noses. Khoi goes in for his neuter Friday. Something tells me every visit after that will be much less enthusiastic.

  3. Victoria says:

    a few extra treats and lots of love make forgiveness the easy pill to take!

  4. Caroline says:

    You are 100% correct. My older RR is 12. We go to the vet a lot. He hates it and shakes. I had been training him to be OK at the vet when he was a young lady by going to the vet when we weren’t seeing the vetime. Just going in and getting a cookie. Sit for a moment and get a cookie. Then leave after being praised to the heavens. The staff were in on it too. They made a big fuss over him and pets and treats. Sadly he has horrible arthritis and his feet have collapsed a bit, and he just got over a deep bone infection that involved surgery. So like I said, we go to the vet a lot. The early training worked great until he started needed such complicated care. And our 3 month old puppy? A toddler with knives would be easier to care for. I forgot how bitey they are. And destruction, oh the destruction. But when she comes and cuddles, heart melts. Until the next episode.

  5. Geri Zeibert says:

    Will, you are SUCH a good daddy!

  6. KarenS says:

    We had a Newfie many years ago that absolutely LOVED the vet. Even after a spay and surgery for elbow dysphasia. She’d drag us into the exam room and whine at the door if they walked past. She’d get on the scale without drama. Silly girl. The best patient ever as far as the vet staff was concerned.

    Now, as for the Ridgies both past and present. Yeah. They sit in the waiting room and shake. They climb into my lap in the exam room. Even before neutering they had in their heads that nothing good comes from the vet! Silly boys. But treats do help soften the trauma. And extra cuddles are always needed.

    Glad to hear she’s on the mend.

  7. coastingnz says:

    Yes the Vet isn’t the boys favourite place either. We had a great vet with our first “child” Jeddyboy – we’d just call in on our way past and they would play ball for a few minutes, give a treat and then we’d be off again, that way Jeddy didn’t associate the Vet with bad things and when we needed to go he knew it was for the better. Unfortunately while our vet nowadays is great with the boys we struggle for interaction with the reception staff.

  8. Ogee says:

    She trusts you…and treats don’t hurt either! Good parenting. 🙂

  9. Emmadog says:

    We find it odd that Bailie loves the vet and the whole trip. Katie and I are scared, Bailie has gotten spayed, had shots, but she is still happy as a clam to go to the vet any old time. Mom hopes it stays that way.

  10. Eve says:

    Since I got July after she was spayed I’m not sure how she acted beforehand, but even now as the 8 year old she is fine in the outside waiting area, it’s when you go to the exam room that she turns into a shaking mess. Poor Penny Hope your feel better soon!

  11. Kismet says:

    We in for anything that involves treats.

  12. DZ Dogs says:

    Oh yes…we understand completely.
    Dante hates the vets office, we had a bad experience right after adopting him where the nurse attempted to manhandle him, she got angry, wanted me to put a muzzle on him etc… I was so pissed.
    We ended up leaving, I love my vet but made sure that it went in our file to never work with that particular tech again. Now when we go he’s much better, I bring lots of treats, the staff knows me so they let me handle him and he’s a gentleman about the whole experience but it definitely is not his favorite.

  13. Tietser says:

    Such a beauty your Penny. Strange that Chanel, Dior, Lancome and the lot have not yet discovered her! She’d make a great model! There’s something so special about her face. Great photo’s Will. And as for the visits to the vet, at the end of the day it’s all about energy. And of coarse the energy of those treats!. And that’s all that counts.

  14. stephumina says:

    Aww Penny! Get better soon.
    Unfortunately being the “vet” every dog thinks I’m the jerk! It’s not fair! We try our best to get on their side, treats, cuddles, back scratches but some dogs just don’t fall for it.

    Penny, please dont hate us, we only want to hug you!

  15. Awww, P. I’m sorry your dad was a jerk today. It was for your own good and it sounds like you were a brave, strong girl. Now you’ll get an extra treat each day with some delicious medicine in it. Lucky dog. Feel better soon…

    Love and licks,

  16. Tracy & Beatrice says:

    Beatrice loves the vet! She loves all the attention and compliments. She doesn’t even flinch when she gets her shots….taking her temperature is another story….

  17. raisingdaisy says:

    The spay visit was the turning point for Daisy too. She loved the vet until then. And the ACL/meniscus surgery was the topper that turned her completely against the whole idea of vet visits. There’s no greater guilt trip than those “how could you do this to me” eyes in the waiting room!

  18. Hope Penny is “right as rain” soon…………I’m sure she forgives you for taking her to the torture place as soon as she sees you when she comes out of the exam room. “Daddy” is SAFE territory and chances are he has plenty more treats to ease the pain! HAHA


  19. fredrieka says:

    I just got a bath and she took my stuff, but my stuff came back warm but it did not smell like me so.. I rolled on it then slept, it is better this morning

  20. Vet trips are traumatic. I’m amazed that poor Maggie with all of her recent trips has not developed a fear, but she actually likes the vet. It’s so odd, she’s very social at the vets, but at home she still has that fearful streak. I think it’s the busy atmosphere, I think she just likes it more.

  21. I am behind on my blog reading due to travel and birthdays (hehehe!!) but I am so sorry that I missed that Penny had a UTI. I know this is TMI, but I had one at the exact same time…the poor girl! I sure hope that she is back to herself……..brilliant to give her treats at the Vet! I bet it will help!

  22. those darn girls and bladder infections, glad it wasn’t anything serious. Sending healing thoughts.

  23. dogdaz says:

    Sometimes I know they all think I am the meanest Mom in the world. Especially around vets and grooming. But at the end of the day, they love me just the same. You are a good DoggieDaddy.

  24. Elyse says:

    After he was a bit traumatized over a nail-clipping, we started stopping by the vet’s office with Duncan when we were in the area, just to say hello. They give him a treat, and he thinks it’s great to go to the vet again. Treats fix everything. Especially when there is no actual exam involved.

  25. Strangely I just had to treat Mazie for a UTI too. Thankfully she is not bothered by the Vet except for the long wait. The Puffs are a WHOLE different story and you would think the world had ended, even if we are just going in for a quick weight check.

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